Bizarro Fiction

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What is Bizarro fiction? Well, there are two ways to explain it: the long way and the short way.

The Short Answer[edit | hide | hide all]

You ever wake up from a dream that made perfect sense at the time; but now that you're awake, you're left thinking, "What! Was! That!?" Bizarro Fiction is like that.

The Long Answer[edit | hide]

Bizarro Fiction is a contemporary literary genre known for high weirdness. As the print media equivalent of the cult film, bizarro fiction strives to be not only strange but also thought-provoking and fun to read. Despite reveling in its weird, often surreal, elements, bizarro fiction has more in common with speculative fiction (such as science fiction, fantasy, and horror) than the avant-garde literary movements (such as Dadaism or Surrealism) with which it is often associated. Most Bizarro fiction takes place in a dreamlike alternate reality where the unexpected, unpredictable, unfathomable, or plain horrifying is commonplace.

Although the genre-denying Bizarro authors are often underground outsiders in the literary world, they have gained respect in the publishing world, garnering praise from a number of major authors.

Traits of Bizarro Fiction:

  1. Bizarro, simply put, is the genre of the weird.
  2. Bizarro is literature's equivalent to the cult section at the video store.
  3. Like cult movies, Bizarro is sometimes surreal, sometimes avant-garde, sometimes goofy, sometimes bloody, sometimes borderline pornographic, and almost always completely out there.
  4. Bizarro strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.
  5. Bizarro often contains a certain cartoon logic that, when applied to the real world, creates an unstable universe where the bizarre becomes the norm and absurdities are made flesh.
  6. Bizarro was created by a group of small press publishers in response to the increasing demand for (good) weird fiction and the increasing number of authors who specialize in it.

Compare Crack Fic.

Here's this article that lists five common components of the genre, and this interview on Rose O'keefe about what bizarro is and isn't, and now a Booked Podcast episode!

Bizarro Publishers[edit | hide]

  • Afterbirth Books
  • Burning Bulb Publishing
  • Deadite Press
  • Eraserhead Press
  • Grindhouse Press
  • Lazy Fascist Press
  • Library of Bizarro Horror Press
  • Raw Dog Screaming Press
  • Swallowdown Press
  • Legume Man Books

Books and Collections of Bizarro Fiction[edit | hide]

Tropes often found in Bizarro fiction[edit | hide]